supermarket floor spaceThe photograph with this column was taken from the balcony of a supermarket in the Baltimore area during a tour of several stores at the Food Marketing Institute Energy and Store Development Conference. Notice the massive amount of floor space and products on display; then consider that the second floor, where the photo was taken from, also includes a large area of products typically found in a drug store, including the prescription counter.

What you don’t see in the picture is the refrigerated equipment except in the very lowest part of the photo. Nearly all that equipment is around the periphery of the store and most not within the camera angle.

And there is a point to that. Supermarket decision makers determining what goes on in a store have so many decisions to make about so many things that refrigeration becomes just one of many store elements. It is an important one considering how important refrigeration is in keeping consumable products at just the right temperature before being eaten or drunk. But to decision makers, it is still just one aspect — an important one — but just one of many important ones.

So for refrigeration contractors and technicians who want the store decision makers to make decisions based less on “just keep it running at the lowest cost” and more on energy efficiency and durability, be aware that even multiple “lowest costs” storewide add up to a lot of costs for an entity with small profit margins.

Contractors should do everything they can to make sure refrigeration equipment is a bright blip on decision makers’ radar screens. But those radar screens can contain a lot of blips.

Publication date: 11/18/2013